Why Unplug with your Team?

Team-building retreats at the Edge are unplugged – for very good reason!

What is the first line of support for any tech issue? “Unplug it for a few minutes, then turn it back on again.” If our machines need this from time to time, what about our bodies? Our brains?

Since 1995, we have hosted unplugged team building retreats for leadership teams and corporate groups. In this day and age, when our work and resources are all online, and family members are always a quick Facetime call away, it can be scarier than ever to intentionally unplug and take time away from our devices. It’s hard to imagine going even a few hours without checking our smartphones or laptops – yet it’s more necessary than ever.

So – why bother to unplug? It lets us power down, so we can restart after our retreat.

At it’s root, our decision to keep our retreats unplugged is all about connection. A primary goal of most corporate & team-building retreats is to create connection between participants that go beyond the office. When we have access to our personal devices, we have unlimited distraction at our fingertips. On a retreat, it is those distractions that can be our biggest obstacle in creating connection with each-other. You’re investing thousands of dollars in connecting your team – so why would you want there to be any distraction from focusing on the things which matter most?

By disconnecting from the distractions of technology and being fully engaged in face-to-face interactions with colleagues, participants can better seize the opportunities for deeper communication, creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration that arise in the moment. This can lead to improved team bonding and productivity, as well as a better work-life balance.

Although we provide opportunities to make digital presentations with a large projection screen, we invite visitors to consider what they can accomplish here with face-to-face time you might not be able to do at the home office or over Zoom.

Disconnect for Connection

Here are five benefits your team can experience by unplugging for your offsite meeting:

  • Improved team bonding: Stepping away from the distractions of technology will help team members get to know each other better and build stronger bonds, leading to a more cohesive and effective team.
  • Increased focus, creativity & problem-solving: Without google at our fingertips, we are encouraged to think more creatively. Your meetings will be supercharged with team members coming up with new and innovative ideas by relying on their own resources and problem-solving skills.
  • Deeper communication and collaboration: Again, without distractions, team members can listen to and engage with one another on a deeper level. Conversations and projects that matter will receive a higher level of contribution and collective input from your team.
  • More focus on the goals of your retreat: In business, it can be difficult to step away from the spotlight issues of the day. While it’s important to attend to our regular work, it is ever-more important to shine a floodlight on the bigger picture of your enterprise engaging team members to collectively address your medium and long-term personal and collective goals. Sharing an understanding of the relevance of your goals invites contributions from each team member to apply their talents autonomously.
  • Modeling work-life balance: Planning an unplugged retreat models healthy life practices for your team which can lead to a more resilient team capable of creative problem solving, quality improvements ,and productivity gains.
  • And more: the variety of activities your team can engage in together, while disconnected from technology, can provide a reward, a necessary break, opportunities for wellness & adventure, all while building community & meeting business goals.

We promise – although your team may express worries about unplugging at the beginning of your retreat, by the end they will be very glad they did!

How the Edge can support you in unplugging:

The benefits are many – but what about those necessary presentations & meetings, facetime calls home to family members, and important work calls?  We understand that for many of our corporate clients, unplugging represents a big fear.  Here’s how we can work around the need to be “plugged in”.

Presentations with digital or printed elements:
If you are planning on offering a presentation at the Edge, we do come equipped with a high-quality projector & screen, and will be more than happy to get you set up.  It is important for your presenters to pre-download all elements of their presentation.  By knowing in advance that you will not have the capacity to stream video or slideshows, you can come prepared and delivery the same quality of media.

In regards to printed items – please print everything you need ahead of your departure to the Edge.  Our nearest printer is 22km away, so come prepared with what you need.

We no longer offer wi-fi access to just the leaders or presenters during a retreat, as we have found that this access will spread to half the team by the time your retreat is over, removing all the benefits and purpose of unplugging.  Trust us: it’s not as necessary as you think.

Meetings and conversations that matter:
Although the world has become used to the idea of hybrid meetings and gatherings, we advise that everybody you need in your meeting be at the retreat.  The in-person connection that your team will experience together will enhance all of the meetings you plan to have during your visit, and including team members not present can create a feeling of disconnection with that person.

If a necessary person is not here, save the meeting for the office.  If your strategic planning event requires traditional projector-based presentations we recommend limiting meetings & presentations to 1 per day.  There are so many other things to bring your attention to during your retreat, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on them by being inside all day.  Looking to have important conversations outside of your regular meeting format?  Our retreat facilitators can help you to stage unplugged, organic discussions on topics that matter.

Important phone calls and communications:
If it is necessary to keep the fires burning in your business with important communications, please delegate to a team member who is not attending the retreat.  If all team members are attending your retreat, that’s amazing:  Please set away messages or automations and commit to creating space for the growth and connection of your team members.  In most cases, your business will survive 3 – 4 days with limited communication.

If you do need to make an emergency phone call, or your team members feel the need to check in with family members as an important element of feeling safe and comfortable at the retreat, we have a tablet with wi-fi calling that can be used in our main lodge in lieu of giving folks access on their personal devices.

We hope that you can see the benefits of unplugging with your team for a retreat at the Edge.  Curious to learn more?  See why the Edge is the perfect place to plan your corporate retreat.

Are you looking to plan the ultimate corporate retreat?

Our comprehensive guide walks you through everything from picking the perfect location, planning activities and team games, creating meaningful agendas, and more. With years of experience in hosting executive retreats, delivering team-building and strategic planning retreats – we know what it takes to make your corporate retreat one that will be remembered for years to come. 

A copy of our Corporate Retreat Planning Guide is on its way to your inbox. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *